Prosecutors already hurt, Cleveland says

By GAYLE COULTER State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Larry Cleveland says he's not sure how much more his office can tighten its belt in the wake of a 2.5 percent budget cut proposed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

"They want more work and they want to give us less money for what we need to do to accomplish that work," Cleveland told The State Journal. "Somehow, I just don't find myself happy about this."

Fletcher is proposing a 2.5 percent cut, amounting to about $1.2 million taken from prosecutors. Fletcher is also proposing a 3 percent cut for the state attorney general.

Cleveland said commonwealth's attorneys have faced budget cuts on an almost annual basis in the past but have always managed to "beg, grovel, bluster and threaten" their way out of actually incurring them.

In the past, prosecutors were usually given an opportunity to make their case against budget cuts at a legislative subcommittee meeting on the issue, Cleveland said. He said, however, he's not aware of such a meeting being scheduled.

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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